The Western

Have you noticed all the Westerns lately? They’re sneaking into all sorts of genres. Here’s a sampling:

Western Cosmic

Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s “Wish Bones“ in Dead Stars and Stone Arches: A Collection of Utah Horror ed by C.R. Langille

Schoonover with her sophisticated plots and character insight has become an auto-buy author for me. In this story, a group of men escort Miss Aramacia Simes to Cedar City for her hanging. She’s wanted for bone craftin’. Their trip doesn’t go well.

Queer Western

T.C. Parker’s Salvation Spring

“A wild plot and Western setting spiced with Parker’s unique style.” (ElleEm, Goodreads) I’m intrigued. It’s on my TBR!

Western Suspense

Terry Odell’s In the Crosshairs

Cattle rustling, thunderstorms, and a murder mystery kept me turning pages. (A bit of romance, too!) My favorite Odell to date.

Western Splatterpunk

Wile E. Young’s The Magpie Coffin, book 1 in the popular Splatter Western series.

The body count stacks up and there are some scenes that were terrifyingly twisted BUT it was all very fitting of the real American West. (Andrew Robert, Goodreads) Sounds rather bloody!

Western Gothic

I’ve saddled up my horse, too. Inspired (or haunted) by the wildfire that marched through our area four months ago, I wrote a Western about a man named Henderson and his encounter with a fire witch. Here’s a snippet:

Inside the church, warm light flowed through the stained glass windows and left dizzying patterns of color on the floor, the altar, and worshippers’ faces. Henderson sat between his wife, Honey, and their daughter, Sue. His trousers were buried under the overflowing ruffles of blue floral (Honey’s) and white eyelet (Sue’s). He couldn’t see his knees.

From there, Henderson’s life takes a decidedly dark turn. Right now, my story is in an acquisition editor’s in-box right now. Good luck, little Western story, good luck!

Today’s feature image is the landscape near our home. Some tree trunks are still black from March’s wildfire, and some of the scrub brush will never come back, but the mesquite and prickly pear are proving tough. It’s pretty in a rugged sort of way… a Western way!

75 thoughts on “The Western

  1. Westerns have always been hit or miss with me. My dad used to watch a fair amount of John Wayne films, and the only one that ever stood out was ‘The Searchers’ with a young Natalie Wood. When my husband told me I should watch Firefly (one of his favourites), I wasn’t too keen with the idea, but I absolutely loved it! I’m intrigued by the story ‘Wish Bones,’ and the sound of a ‘fire witch.’ The western, like Gothic, can be very versatile. Best of luck with your submission!

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    1. Hi Debbie! The hubster and I enjoyed Firefly too! “Wish Bones” is good. I love the style of prose Schoonover has developed over the years no matter what genre she’s writing. Thanks for the good luck wish re my submission!

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  2. I’ve read Terry Odell’s romantic suspense. Excellent book. You are right, it seems the western theme is making a comeback with historical novels and contemporary romance, and thrillers. Living in the West, it’s fun to read about places I’ve been. 🙂

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    1. I dunno, Lionel. How about The Sons of Katie Elder or Rooster Cogburn? Oh, and True Grit, of course! No wait, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, now THAT’s a Western!
      Thanks for commenting and the good luck wish.:-)

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  3. I’ve noticed that too, Priscilla. The cover of Dead Stars Stone Arches is positively fabulous. Wow. And the plot sounds great. The Magpie Coffin also appealed to me. Now I have to decide which to get. Thanks for the recommendations.

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    1. Hi Diana! I’m reading a Lakota Grace mystery novel right now, and I realized it’s a Western! Her Pegasus Quincy series is Arizona-rich, very Western, but modern. Kind of a police procedural with cozy vibes. Hope you have a great rest of your weekend, Diana!

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    1. I bet living in Europe means you’ve seen some gorgeous old cathedrals and their stained glass art. Here, I’ve seen modern stained glass art in churches (at mass…wink!) and love the kaleidoscope effect. Thanks as always, Strange, for your comment!

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  4. You’re right about the Western, Priscilla. I remember reading a Western/Zombie/Steampunk novel a few years back. I must confess I read it because I couldn’t quite get my head around the mix, but, it worked! It was called Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western (The Adventures of Bodacious Creed Book 1) by Jonathan Fesmire, and your post has made me realise I didn’t follow on to see where the story went. I’ll check the stories on your list (a Gothic Western sounds intriguing), and I am sure your story will do well. Love the snippet. Good luck, Priscilla!

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  5. I am all for westerns sneaking into everything! The harder they fall is a western style action film I am really looking forward to reading, and I recently read a space western fanfiction which I really enjoyed. I would be very interested in seeing more Western gothic stories as well!

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  6. Living in the Southwest, I’m a big fan of westerns. After all, Pat Garrett, who shot Billy the Kid, is buried a short distance behind my back door! I’ve been writing steampunk western stories since the early 2000s. My first steampunk western novel was Owl Dance, published in 2011, but I’ve also written a few space westerns and even western vampire stories!

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